The Supreme Court on Monday sought the response of the Enforcement Directorate on the interim bail application of M Sivasankar, former Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister of Kerala, in a money laundering case pertaining to alleged corruption in LIFE (Livelihood Inclusion and Financial Empowerment) Mission.
A bench of Justices V Ramasubramanian and Pankaj Mithal issued notice to the federal anti-money laundering agency and directed it to file its reply by May 17.
During the proceedings, Sivasankar’s lawyer, Senior Advocate Jaideep Gupta, requested for an early hearing on the interim bail plea of Sivasankar on medical grounds.
The counsel told the bench the prime accused in the case, Swapna Suresh, is yet to be arrested by the Enforcement Directorate.
Earlier, on April 13, the Kerala High Court had rejected Sivasankar’s bail plea, observing that although he could not be regarded as a person who would flee the trial, he could tamper with the evidence and influence witnesses because of his power and influence as a former civil servant who had served in the office of the chief minister.
LIFE is a housing project initiated by the Kerala government for the homeless.
The money laundering case involves alleged bribery in securing contracts for building 140 housing units in Thrissur district utilising the funds donated by the UAE’s Red Crescent which was meant for the flood victims of Kerala.
Sivasankar has been in custody since his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate on February 14.